Freelance round-up: This month in photography

The continuing fight for the right to photograph in public places

Earlier this month, a number of photographic bodies and organisations met up with Policing and Counter Terrorism Minister, David Hanson, as a follow up from the large demonstration in Trafalgar Square in January, and the subsequent media coverage.

Hanson assured the photographers and their representatives that they should not be targeted under counter-terrorism laws and legislation, and pledged to keep an eye on the situation. Reports from groups who were at the meeting can be found here and here.

Keeping it black and white

There are undoubtedly any number of photographers out there who have come into the discipline in recent years, and are committed enthusiasts of digital equipment, software and printers. While digital photography holds many advantages over its analogue counterpart, those of us who learned our craft in the darkroom will probably have fond memories of the magic of the black and white printing process.

Ilford have underlined their commitment this month to continue producing and selling black and white products, even while other manufacturers have been gradually stopping their production of film, papers and chemicals.

This is obviously fantastic news for those photographers out there who still enjoy the tactile and tangible nature of creating images and prints in this way. And, for those who may have never used a darkroom, or even an old-school SLR, I’d encourage you to play around with it at some point in your photographic journey. Analogue cameras and equipment are unfashionable enough nowadays to pick up for a song on Ebay, and I promise you – shooting on film, in black and white, will really help to strengthen your craft and skills. It makes you stop and think more carefully about the shot when you have limited frames at your disposal.

And Ilford will stay there supporting you with your trials and errors.

Gear and accessories

Here is a roundup of some new gear that has been released recently and reviewed around the net.

The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV is the latest incarnation of the ever-popular professional Canon body. It’s been around for a little while now, but here is an in depth review from within the last few weeks.

The Canon EOS 550D is the successor to the 500D which was released last year. Following this link for a veritable webfest of reviews from all those dedicated gear-lovers out there.

Epson have released a new printer – the Epson Stylus Photo PX810 FW Inkjet Printer - with the optional extras of scanner, fax and wifi connectivity. This review road tests the printer to see if the performance justifies its price tag.

And finally, Apple have released a fabulous new app for the professional photographer called Easy Release. This is a brilliant addition to any working photographer’s toolkit.  Check it out for simplicity and convenience, and make your images more saleable with an easily collected model release.

Back up, back up and then back up some more

All photographers with a modicum of passion for their craft will quickly learn the need to always back up those precious digital files. Some wait until a hard-drive fails to learn their lesson the difficult way, but hopefully most of us learn from the mistakes of others and get a good workflow in place to be able to recover our files quickly, if and when the worst does happen.

This post from Matt Kloskowski over at Lightroom Killer Tips is a good reminder to back up your stuff, and then maybe back it up again. And perhaps even a third time.

Blogging and the art of following through

I stumbled across this blog entry today, and it really resonated with me, so I thought it’s a good one to share. Having an online presence is a vital part of growing any photographic business, and can also be a good creative outlet for keen enthusiasts. But getting a good readership, and keeping them coming back requires diligence, commitment and hard work. Brian Hirschy talks about the things that many bloggers are guilty of (and this applies to all bloggers I guess, but the angle is coming from photography) and I have to put my hand up and admit to being guilty of some of these crimes. Take a read, and think about what your blog is saying about you.

And finally, for an inspiring example of blogging done right, have a look at this ongoing project from photographer Louise Hawson . She has committed to documenting one Sydney suburb per week for an entire year (hence the title of her blog) and to date is more than half way through. The hard work is paying off, with a large online following and a book deal in the pipeline.

Cathy Topping l Website


23rd March 2010

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